At the last Ludobites, I asked Krissy and Ludo (separately) where the next one was going to be at. Krissy said they were looking at four different locations but she was hoping for the Valley. Ludo scoffed at the idea but I think he was just trying to throw me off.
For Ludobites 6.0 is most definitely in the Valley. Sherman Oaks to be exact. It’s in the old Max/ Marche space. I thought it was pretty funny I had gone for Chef Gary Menes earlier in the week at Test Kitchen. He was the old chef at Marche. And then a few days later end up at Ludobites. I hear after Ludobites, it’ll go back to being Max.
In any case, it was all good for us because they had a full liquor license and this was the first time they could serve COQtails. I tried the Whisky Pumpkin Ginger and tasted the Yuzu Tequila Martini. We later asked Ludo at drinks about the cocktails and he said he came up with the flavor combinations. The pumpkin featured real pumpkin they pureed.
We ordered almost everything on the menu last Wednesday. The only things we missed were the Vietnamese style hamachi, squid noodles Pad Thai, black sausage and John Dory. I’m thinking there may be time sneak back over for the second half of Ludobites 6.0 and try the walk-in communal table. That’s right, if you couldn’t make reservations, they have a table just for walk-ins. The second half runs November 30 to December 5.
We started off with the baguette with the smoked butter and sardine Laughing Cow cheese. If you love strong fish flavors, then the Laughing Cow was for you.
We had six at our table. I think four is the perfect number for sharing at Ludobites. Then again, if you are ordering the whole menu, you’ll get enough food. All of us left satisfied but not feeling overly stuffed. The salmon was beautiful but what was unusual was the grilled salmon roe. There was no delicate pops but the nubs gave an interesting texture to the noodle dish.
I loved the mackerel dish. The marinade, the purslane (or verdolagas) and the baby leeks were all great. e*StarLA calls it the essential dish and I agree.
When the mound of “small fries” appeared, they disappeared as fast as we could scoop them onto our plates (or directly into our mouths). The soup was wonderful as well. The mussels were apparent in the soup and this is a grown-up version of chowder (chowdah!) that I would love to eat over and over again.
Scallops and foie gras back to back! Ooh! The foie gras seemed to have had everything done to it- poached, roasted and pickled? But Chef Ludo knows what he’s doing. It went so well with the honey.
The chicken had been sous-vided then the skin was crisped. It was amazingly tender and juicy. I also loved the mushrooms. The steak had this addicting sauce and we had to make sure every bit of kimchi and shiso were eaten before the server took away the plate.
At this point, I was full but still wanted to try dessert anyway. Chef Ludo is the only guy who can make me love carrots. The warm carrot cake was amazing. It tasted like Fruit Loops to me. I’m guessing it was the kaffir lime oil that made the dish. The panna cotta was great with the sweet-salty thing that is so popular right now. The caviar played up the sweetness of the caramel perfectly.
13355 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423-3912